Karl Racine, the attorney general of the district of Columbia, Washington DC has filed a lawsuit against Facebook nine months after the Cambridge Analytica scandal that affected over 87 million people worldwide.
The lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday, talks mostly about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which used user data without their permission. An investigation by the New York Times, earlier this week showed that Facebook had given big companies a lot of exceptions to its privacy policies. This made user data available via loopholes to companies including Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, and Sony.
This lawsuit breaks the silence or lack of actions from US regulators on Facebook’s disregard of user data privacy. Congress, Silicon Valley critics, and even a global committee had urged Facebook to rethink its business model. Among the recent public hearings, Zuckerberg did not bother to attend the global hearing in the UK, unlike Google CEO Sundar Pichai who was present at the Congress hearing.
The lawsuit states that: “Facebook collects and maintains troves of its personal user data, behavior on off its website. Facebook permits third-party developers, including application developers and device makers to access such sensitive information Facebook says that it will take appropriate steps to maintain and protect user data but has failed live up to this commitment.”
“Facebook’s lax oversight of user data with respect to third-party applications. It failed to disclose the affected consumers. Facebook’s privacy settings are ambiguous and difficult to understand.”
It goes on to state that this indicates Facebook’s relationship with partner companies.
The lawsuit also touches on other issues regarding Facebook including its relationships with smartphone makers like BlackBerry, which could access data in ways that could access data irrespective of the users’ settings. Meanwhile, there is no news from the federal regulators.
Know more about this lawsuit in detail, on the government of Columbia’s official website.
Is Anti-trust regulation coming to Facebook following fake news inquiry made by a global panel in the House of Commons, UK?
NYT says Facebook has been disclosing personal data to Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and other tech giants; Facebook denies claims with obfuscating press release
British parliament publishes confidential Facebook documents that underscore the growth at any cost culture at Facebook